Honda finally unveiled their new solar hydrogen solar station and all signs point to a dramatic success. The station is smaller than previous models and enables an electric car owner to refill their fuel cell overnight. The unit should easily fit into a homeowners’ garage taking up significantly less space than previous models. The older model required a compressor and electrolyzer for it to be operational. One of the reasons the units were so big was because of the compressor that was required to run the unit. Not only that, the compressor was also the reason that the units were so expensive to produce and purchase.
Honda has totally changed the components of the unit and eliminated the need for the compressor and this new slim model is the result. The unit is also “smart grid friendly” and will not require any hydrogen storage for the fuel cell to recharge. Because of this, the Honda Solar Hydrogen Station will lower CO2 emissions even further and allow the car owner to use off peak electricity to recharge the car. This makes everything more cost effective all the way around.
The Honda Solar Hydrogen Station is built to recharge the car on an overnight 8-hour fill. The power that was replenished would typically power the car for a full day of average driving. In most cases, that single fill will be able to get just about anyone through their day and back home without having to worry about a recharge.
However, the design of this new station also has talked of setting up an actual string of charging stations that would enable someone to travel much longer distances. The station was built with fast fill capabilities and any car that has this technology would be able to benefit from the public charging stations.
The Honda FCX is just such a car and can travel 240 miles on a single fill and has the capability to do a fast fill in about five minutes. This dramatically increases the travel range of a car and if the traveler was able to find a location that would allow the car to have a slow 8-hour overnight fill, there would literally be no limitation to the distance that the car could travel.
Honda is continuing its development of this concept and the coast to coast fueling stations will likely become a reality before long. It is a matter of getting investors onboard to support the stations and then there is no telling what will happen.